Mar 22, 2012

Places to eat in Wichita: Le Monde

I've been to Le Monde three or four times -- well, at this location, anyway. Years ago, there was a Le Monde downtown, but I don't know if that was the same owners.

The West Street one looks like it was a fast food joint in a former life, but it's been updated on the inside and out with a homier look.

The menu offers a mix of Americanized Euro-ish favorites: quesadillas, ravioli, chicken moutarde; and the Lebanese offerings which are (happily) commonplace in Wichita: hummus, fattoush, and schawarma. The entrees are dominated by pasta offerings: eight, to be exact.

Homemade biscuits are served free while you peruse the menu. Although delicious, they seem a little out of place with the Euro/Mid-Eastern slant of the menu: they taste just like my grandma's shortbread (American farm food), and the ones we were served this time tasted like they'd just come out of the oven.


I usually get the fattoush salad with chicken, but today I was in the mood for something different, so I ordered a gyro. I've never had one before, so I have nothing to compare it to or to judge how authentic it was. But it was yummy! The seasoned ground beef (and/or lamb?), tasted sort of like breakfast sausage. A good thing, in my book. The tomato and tsaziki sauce was the perfect complement, adding a contrast without overwhelming. The pita bread was soft and puffy.  My daughter was scared off by the tsaziki (yogurt and cucumber sauce), but after she had a taste, she didn't want to give it back to me. It's served with a generous side salad of your choice -- my choice: fattoush, of course!


When she ordered, she stuck to what she knew: chicken schawarma. (Or schwarma.) This dish is pretty common in Wichita. The base of it is hummus -- which I can be fairly picky about, since I have a pretty rockin' homemade version. Then that is topped with chicken schawarma and, usually, some grilled onions, pine nuts, olive oil and/or paprika. Le Monde tops theirs with pickles (housemade, I think), and fresh tomatoes. 


The chicken is tasty, but not remarkable. I give their hummus a thumbs up. And yes, I know I've already said that the pita bread was great, but it bears another mention! I wish they'd serve pita for the free appetizer, with some zahtaar seasoning and good olive oil. But then again, I'd probably just fill up on that! So maybe it's a good thing (for my waistline) they don't.

Le Monde Cafe & Deli (west) on Urbanspoon

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